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Offbeat News

Fake Twitter account for new UN food agency chief shut down

Rome - A fake Twitter account opened immediately after the weekend election of China's Qu Dongyu to head the Food and Agriculture Organization has been shut down, the UN food agency said Monday.

'Good gifts': Putin presents Xi with birthday ice cream

Dushanbe - Russian President Vladimir Putin presented his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping with a giant box of ice cream for his 66th birthday before a summit in Tajikistan on Saturday, the Kremlin said, in a sign of the pair's warm ties.

Hong Kongers alarmed by Google translation gaffe

Fpo - Hong Kong social media lit up on Friday when protesters noticed Google's translation software was briefly churning out a rather odd suggestion during a week that has seen the worst political violence to hit the city in decades.

89/64: China stocks reference Tiananmen anniversary... again

Fpo - As the world marked the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown on Tuesday Chinese stocks once again referenced the event, with two Hong Kong indexes closing at lunch with figures that might prove a little awkward.

Australian teen who egged senator donates to Christchurch victims

Sydney - An Australian teen who egged a far-right senator over his offensive comments about the Christchurch mosque attacks says he has donated almost Aus$100,000 (US$69,000) raised for his legal defence to the victims of the shootings.

Anchorwomen: Chinese, US TV hosts primed for showdown

Bejing - The US-China trade talks may be on hold but their war on words is heating up, with Chinese and US TV anchors primed for a rare television debate that Beijing hopes will prove a popular draw.

Japanese sumo vs Trump's WWE: big differences in clash of big men

Apo - President Donald Trump will be ringside Sunday for Tokyo's big sumo tournament, but if he hopes his longtime love of US-style professional wrestling will give him special insight into the action, he better think again.

Japan FM puzzles followers with 'enciphered bacon' tweet

Apo - Bemused followers of Japan's foreign minister were left scratching their heads on Tuesday after a bizarre tweet about bacon, sparking tongue-in-cheek speculation he could be tweeting classified information in code."Ah, bacon is in fact ^%£$+*•!%.......

Milkshakes become weapon of choice in UK European campaign

London - The lowly milkshake has turned into an unlikely weapon of choice for Britons determine to make a splashy statement against the rise of the Brexit-backing populist right.

Want Alpine thrills? Try competitive paper plane flying

Salzburg - If you've ever wanted to earn your wings ecologically, economically and quietly while breathing healthy Alpine air, read on, because you can.

Pakistan turns to science, infuriating moonsighting mullahs

Islamabad - Imran Khan's government has drawn the ire of conservative mullahs with calls for a science-based lunar calendar to calculate the start of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Pakistan, which faces an annual controversy over the date.

Dramatic tow-truck arrest of Guaido's right-hand man

Caracas - Sirens in the night, armed and balaclava-clad policemen surrounding an imposing four-wheel drive vehicle as its occupier refused to get out.

Nepal refutes Indian Army's abominable yeti claim

Kathmandu - Nepal's army Friday refuted the Indian military's hairy claim that its soldiers had discovered yeti footprints in the Himalayas, saying they were more likely just a bear.

Indian Army mocked for Yeti 'footprint' photos

New Delhi - Photos of "Yeti footprints" posted online by the Indian army triggered a social media storm on Tuesday, with users ridiculing the military for propagating theories debunked by science.

Palestinian ministers sworn in again after oath foul-up

Ramallah - Palestinian government ministers were sworn in for a second time on Sunday after a lawyer noticed that the oath they took the day before had been missing a phrase.

Brazil flooding unleashes caimans in Rio neighborhood

Rio De Janeiro - Residents of a hillside Rio de Janeiro favela risk finding hungry caimans at their front door after the city was hit hard by heavy flooding caused by torrential rain.

Hong Kong admits world's largest air purifier choked on debut

Fpo - Red-faced Hong Kong officials admitted on Tuesday that a record-breaking air filter for a new bypass under the city broke down shortly after it began operating.Hong Kong opened a long-awaited $4.6 billion tunnel under a 3.7 kilometre (2.

Thai pro-marijuana party in high demand after disputed vote

Bangkok - A super-wealthy construction scion who ran a pro-marijuana platform ahead of Thailand’s election has emerged as a highly courted candidate as two main parties need his allegiance -- and party seats -- after the disputed vote.

Pope resisted ring-kissing for fear of germs

Vatican City - Pope Francis tries to stop people kissing his ring because he fears it could spread germs, the Vatican said Thursday in response to a viral video showing the Argentinian repeatedly withdrawing his hand from worshippers.

Eternal shell: Sacred turtle embalmed in Hanoi

Hanoi - A sacred giant turtle that died in Hanoi's storied Hoan Kiem lake has been given a new lease on life by city authorities who have embalmed the beloved creature for posterity -- and tourist visits.

Ex-Peru president Toledo briefly jailed for public intoxication

Los Angeles - Former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo, who is facing extradition from the United States over corruption charges, was briefly jailed for public intoxication after getting drunk in a California restaurant, local police said Monday.

Five things we learned from the Hanoi summit

Hanoi - Cigarette breaks and poolside strolls: the world again saw a more human side to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump as their unlikely diplomatic rapprochement endured for a second date.

Thrill seekers: Hanoi tours offer visitors taste of summit action

Hanoi - When Lee Parry heard that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump would meet in Hanoi, he knew he wanted to be part of the action and soon booked a trip.

Bulgarian boiled frog lands Bear Grylls in hot water

Sofia - Environment officials in Bulgaria said Thursday they were considering fining British adventurer Bear Grylls over an episode of his Running Wild series in which he killed a frog and boiled it on a camping stove.

'World's loneliest duck' Trevor dies on tiny Niue

Sydney - A lone duck named Trevor that lived on the tiny Pacific island nation of Niue has died, officials say, sparking an outpouring of grief from as far away as New Zealand.

Japan satellite blasts into space to deliver artificial meteors

Apo - A rocket carrying a satellite on a mission to deliver the world's first artificial meteor shower blasted into space on Friday, Japanese scientists said.

Trump grounds House speaker, scraps Davos trip amid shutdown

Washington - US President Donald Trump forced the cancellation Thursday of a trip to Afghanistan by his Democratic opponent Nancy Pelosi, and scrapped administration officials' travel to the Davos forum as a government shutdown plunged Washington deeper into deadlo...

Trump praises Brazil's 'Donald Trump' leader

Washington - US President Donald Trump likes Brazil's controversial new leader Jair Bolsonaro -- especially his nickname."They say he's the Donald Trump of South America, do you believe that?

Afghan talent show singer finds fame as Justin Trudeau's double

Kabul - An Afghan talent show contestant's striking resemblance to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has turned him into an unlikely celebrity in the war-torn country -- and potentially given him the winning edge.

Rio robber's bloody mistake mugging a female MMA fighter

Rio De Janeiro - A robber who tried to steal a cellphone from a young woman in Rio de Janeiro learned the hard way that mugging a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter who goes by the nickname "the Iron Lady" is not an excellent idea.
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